The American Historical Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Seth Denbo as its first director of scholarly communication and digital initiatives.
The digital environment offers the AHA a wealth of new opportunities. For more than a century, the AHA has played a central role in such activities as disseminating scholarship, establishing ethical standards, providing resources for teachers, and advocating for the importance of historical thinking in public culture and the accessibility of the resources that historians need to record and interpret the past.
Nourishing historical work has always required arenas—places where historians meet one another and others interested in what we do. Traditionally these arenas have been conferences, where historians meet face-to-face, or journals and other publications, where scholars encounter each other in print.
Times have changed. Digital environments allow new forms of communication, dissemination, interaction, advocacy, and teaching that open up a range of possibilities. We can collaborate more effectively; we can explore new kinds of historical sources; we can publish in different ways using innovative modes of communication; we can create new kinds of communities of scholars, teachers, and students, and reach audiences beyond the academy.
As director of scholarly communication and digital initiatives, Denbo will lead the AHA’s efforts in these areas. He brings to this enterprise significant experience in teaching and research, and of fostering innovation in both digital history and the digital humanities. Denbo earned his PhD from the University of Warwick and has taught 18th-century British history in universities in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Over the past 10 years, Denbo has participated actively in the development of innovative digital tools and methods for historical scholarship. Drawing on his experience as a teacher, researcher, and member of infrastructure-building teams, he played a key role in several international projects that expanded capacity for digital scholarship in the humanities. He also conceived and organized an ongoing seminar in digital history at the Institute of Historical Research in London that has been at the forefront of fostering innovation in the use of digital tools and methods for the study of history.
Denbo brings to the AHA considerable experience bringing together scholars and technologists to address questions about changing forms of scholarship. His appointment gives the AHA new resources to take advantage of emerging avenues for scholarship and communication and help historians navigate the shifting sands of the 21st century’s digital landscape.